More often than not, I don’t do anything that exciting on the weekends. We usually will go to a local shoot or work at the house, and that gets boring to read about after a while, I’m sure. But this weekend was special. We got to say goodbye to a piece of history. If you aren’t familiar with the SEC or it’s traditions, after every win for Auburn University (my alma matter), fans flock to Toomer’s Corner and roll the beautiful Oak trees that stand at the entrance to campus with toilet paper. If you have never experienced this, it may seem a little silly. I mean, TP’ing trees? Isn’t that what teenyboppers do to have fun? But it truly is one of the happiest memories I have from my time at Auburn. It is a tradition that has been around for years that generations of Auburn Tigers have participated in.
Diagonally across from these oak trees is a local hangout-Toomer’s Drugs. Toomer’s was originally a drug store founded by Shel Toomer in 1896. It still is standing in its original location and is a great place to go have lunch, lemonade, and ice cream.
|The lemonade here is amazing-definitely something you want to try if you are ever in town!|
Legend says that this tradition started in the days of the telegraph, when drugstore employees would signal to locals that Auburn had won an away football game by throwing the tape from the telegraph over power lines that crossed the corner.
|Toomer's Corner in the 1890's. Via.|
It started with Football, but now students, locals, and fans roll the trees for wins in other sports as well as happenings in the community. There are many different stories about how to the current tradition started, but most say that it came to its height in the 1980s and has grown ever since.
After Auburn’s victory over Alabama in 2010, a crazy stupid Alabama fan (I will refrain from calling him what I really want to because it involves words I shouldn’t say) poisoned those trees with a lethal dose of Spike 80DF, an herbicide, and started the slow process of the trees dying. Auburn tried to save the trees, but was unsuccessful. For 2 years, the best agricultural minds in the country tried every way to save these trees, but finally made the decision to remove them and update the park around them. The plan was revealed at Saturday’s A-Day game (the football team’s spring scrimmage) and I like what I see. The final plan will incorporate new live trees and will allow for more fans to enjoy this tradition in years to come. While the tradition will not be the same, it will evolve and grow for years to come.
|Part of what I love about this plan is the open space at the corner. It will allow for more fans to celebrate Auburn victories! Via.|
David Housel, former Auburn Athletic Director and current historian said it best on Saturday: “There is more to Auburn than two oak trees, revered and sturdy as they are. These oak trees are but an outward visible symbol of the Auburn heart.” And that Auburn heart will continue to live on in this Alumnus, her husband, and future family.
|After our first game together.|
|The day after the National Championship. It truly looked like snow!|
|Downtown after the National Championship in 2010.|